100-Word Challenge: No Nightmare

100 Word Challenge for Grown-Ups

This week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grown-Ups (100WCGU), courtesy of Julia’s Place, was a bit different. We were given a visual prompt: a horse statue, from the Eden Project in Cornwall.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I could only use 100! Anywho, here’s my attempt:

Mummy crouches close, frowning. “Don’t you want to see?”

Katie’s head judders. She hates statues. Especially angels, with their blank eyes and cold faces, looming over silent graves. In her dreams, they move, lightning fast, grasping her collar, spiriting her away.

She whines; Daddy’s trouser leg rustles in her grip.

He smiles. “But, you like ponies…!”

She blinks; the word intrigues.

So, now, Daddy scoops her up, and she sees: No stoic, marbled nightmare, this, but a majestic mount, captured mid-motion in a canter.

Mummy takes her tiny hand, pressing it to noble, knotted muzzle.

Enchanted, Katie beams.

Nightmares (night-mares) are horses from Hell, made popular by the Dungeons & Dragons game and manuals. There’s nothing horrific about this particular horse, though. Rather, it’s actually quite lovely and majestic. I wanted to try and capture some childhood ambivalence about statuary (especially those sometimes-scary angel guardians), and make Katie’s fear turn around, when she comes face to face with unexpected beauty.

The Nightingales are characters I’ve visited before, but this was a fun new take on them. It is certainly difficult to break these relationships down into 100 words! I’m tempted to collect the drafts and put some of them up for people to see, to illustrate how ideas start out but then get pruned. Maybe that’s a project for another day, eh?

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16 Comments

Filed under Short Stories

16 responses to “100-Word Challenge: No Nightmare

  1. You can tell how close this family are just from this one small snapshot. Briliant!

    • Thank you, Sally-Jayne!
      This was a quite difficult prompt. I had to try something different, away from my usual romance angst. :D
      So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I love the way you’ve interpreted the prompt! Great stuff. I found this week quite hard actually, ours will be up tomorrow! :)

    • Oh, my goodness, Beth! This week’s prompt was really difficult. It totally made me realise I need to pay better attention to visuals!

      Thank you! I’m looking forward to what the limebird writers have come up with! :D

  3. As adults we often foget that children perceive thiings in very different, sometimes odd, sometimes all too literal, ways. This was an interesting take on the prompt!

  4. What a great take on the prompt. Very well written and magical. x

  5. It’s great. Like a snapshot from a play.

  6. I love the girl’s perspective, and I agree that statue angels can be terrifying. Beautiful piece of writing.

    • Thank you! It’s not often I get to write from the point of view of a little girl, but I liked the simplicity of “Mummy” and “Daddy” as characters. :)

  7. Pingback: Oh, Glorious Heap! | Even More BonusParts!

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